Beef up your barbecue – cuts to celebrate this summer

Beef up your barbecue – cuts to celebrate this summer

by Great British Chefs 27 June 2015

Great British Chefs take a look at what’s going on everyone’s barbecue this summer – from burgers to picanha steak.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Nothing will stop us Brits having a summer barbecue; come rain or shine, we’ll be grilling away. And beef is one of the most popular choices across the land. We’ve picked our favourite cuts to keep a crowd happy.

When choosing beef, it’s important to buy good quality – it makes all the difference in terms of texture and flavour. Intensively farmed cattle are fed on grain as well as their natural diet of grass in order to speed up their growth so the meat can get to the supermarkets faster. When cows are fed purely on grass they are allowed to grow naturally and the beef not only tastes amazing but is also lower in overall fat and saturated fat.


A barbecue classic, a good burger is difficult to beat. Look for a mix of cuts that have been coarsely ground – this gives a great texture and really enhances the flavour. Serve medium-rare in a lightly toasted bun with a slice of hard cheese such as Ogleshield, which is perfect for melting. Prepare some extras to allow your guests to customise their bun – lettuce, tomato, pickles, relishes or even bacon jam.

Rib-eye steak

You might be more used to eating rib-eye steak with chips and béarnaise but the marbling of fat throughout the meat makes it an ideal cut for the BBQ. Keep it simple by serving it with a few salads and potatoes or try making a Pittsburgh ‘Black and Blue’ sandwich in which the steak is charred on the outside and rare in the centre. Slice the meat thickly and serve in a ciabatta bun with blue cheese dressing and salad leaves.


The cut of the moment, picanha has to be the most talked about steak this year. Traditionally a cut used in Brazil, picanha is another name for the rump cap (a triangular piece of meat that sits on top of the rump). It’s incredible cooked over coals. Serve with some South American-style sides, such as black beans, arroz amarillo (yellow rice) and chimichurri sauce.

Jacob’s ladder ribs

Popular with our American cousins, Jacob’s ladder ribs (or beef short ribs) have become a feature in UK restaurants over the last few years. Larger and meatier than pork ribs, they’re best cooked until the intensely rich meat falls from the bone. Leave them overnight in a marinade and then cook on the coolest part of the BBQ for around 3 hours – they’re best served with a homemade BBQ sauce (try adding bourbon for a boozy kick), coleslaw and fries.

Whichever cut you choose to put on the barbecue this summer, you’ll really notice the difference in flavour when using grass-fed beef.